“The Truth about Aid”

3 December 2013
The article “The Origins of Foreign Aid” defines foreign aid as transfer of money, goods and services from one country to other. Foreign aid began during and after World War II. According to the article, in 1954 US along with many other countries established International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) to help the world with economic development. Further, the article says the General George C. Marshall and the US president announced the Marshal Plan where US gave millions of dollar to Europe after World War II. After the success of the Marshall Plan foreign aid was encourage by developed countries to help developing countries. Today foreign aid is a controversial topic because many people believe that foreign aid cannot help people to come out of poverty but at the same time many people are in favor of foreign aid. I believe that foreign aid is a vital process to help poor people and it is also essential to achieve global development. Since every year foreign aid help millions of poor people to come out of poverty and aid to developing countries is also beneficial for the economic development of developed countries. Therefore, foreign aid should be given to underdeveloped and developing countries to ensure the global development.
Many people in the world have misconception about foreign aid, but every year foreign aid help millions of poor people to come out of poverty and have access to basic human needs. For example, Bill Gates in his article “The Truth About Foreign” claims that many people in Africa were hungry before emergency aid was introduced. So, to solve these alarming issues the most powerful solution is to help poor people and farmers. Gates says that new seed and modern forms of harvesting are very useful for farmers to enhance their productivity. Moreover, fund raising programs are helping poor people due to which the number of poor people has declined by one half. Further, the article “Aid Saves Lives” from the web site of Save A Child: the nonprofit organization which is working in 120 countries to ensure the basic rights of children also highlights many advantages of aid. Such as, in 2012 aid from the UK was used to prevent 2.7 million mothers and children from hunger, 12 million children were vaccinated against killer diseases and millions of children were supported to attend regular schooling by building classrooms, training teachers and by providing other facilities. Further, the article says despite the tough times for Britain, Britain is keeping its promise to help the poor children of the world. As a result every year 2.5 million children are prevented from contracting killer diseases. According to one prediction by 2015, 10 million children will be safe from going hungry and 80 million children will be safe from fatal diseases. This all will only be possible if foreign aid is given to poor countries. Therefore, foreign aid should be given to underdeveloped and developing countries to safe as many people as we can.
Secondly, aid plays an important role in global development because helping poor countries is also beneficial for the economic expansion of developed countries. To illustrate this argument Ms. Gunilla Carlsson who is Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation says in one of her interview, “Why Should Europe Help Developing Countries?” it is not possible to isolate ourselves rest of the world because “Political oppression, resource scarcity, severe droughts, famine, war and other conflicts are happening in our own neighborhood.” She says these countries need our help and we should also understand that supporting developing countries is also beneficial for the economic development of our own country. Further, Ms. Carlsson says that the EU (European Union) needs to assist those countries which are at conflict or in a post conflict condition and no one is there to support them. Ms. Carlsson response to question and she reveals that it is the biggest misunderstanding that we can survive better in the world by our own. Development in the world can be achieved through “people trading, interacting and working together” because such interactions endorses, “competition, innovation and investment.” She discloses that it is important to have exchanges with others and she believes that free trade is a positive tool to achieve development. In addition to this, the current President of Liberia Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf argues that the debate about overseas aid is very controversial but the devastating earthquake and tsunami in developed countries, such as, Japan needs external humanitarian assistance so, how anyone can deny to support the poor countries which are suffering from chronic hunger and from contradicting killer diseases. She further argues that poverty is a global problem and as the world is a global village we are more dependent on each other “for security, safety and to face such challenges.” Carlsson and Sirleaf are very much right because it is true that due to advancement in the modern technology; the world is became a global village, and different circumstances in one part of the world have very significant effects on other parts of the world. Thus, it is time to consider the international problems seriously because anyone can be affected by them.
Despite the awe inspiring work done by foreign aid to developing and poor countries many people are against foreign aid, Mr. Fredrik Erixon is the chief economist of Timbro, a Swedish think-tank and in his article, “Why Aid Doesn’t Work” argues that many times aid was given to eliminate poverty but it failed to fulfill its goal. To support his argument he mentioned many facts and figures. For instance, he argues African countries are poorer today then in times past because of increased dependence on aid which caused more poverty than economic stability. He believes that the main reason for the failure of aid is corruption and inappropriate decisions by the donor communities. Erixon’s claims seem strong, but Ms. Sirleaf’s argument is more persuasive and effective. She claims that because of aid over the last many years, considerable amount of people have come out of poverty and are getting relief. She agrees that corruption is the biggest problem for aid agencies, but due to corruption we cannot stop helping poor people rather we should have anti-corruption efforts. Sirleaf is optimistic about this alternative and she further claims that due to aid it was possible to provide basic human rights to poor people in many countries of Africa. Secondly, Mr. William Easterly Professor at New York University argues that most of the times alarming issues have given overly simple solutions. To support his argument he comes up with many examples. For instance, the fatal diseases like malaria can be treated by $4 to prevent a child but in reality west has spent $2.3 trillion to prevent poor children from such diseases, but unfortunately donor countries can’t prevent thousands of children who are dying due to malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases which can be easily treated. Respond to such arguments Gates claims that these arguments are not convincing enough because we have many evidence where aid is helpful. For instance, the number of children who die every year has decreased from “20 million to 8 million and the number of poor people is declined to one half” (Gates). Yes, it is obvious that to eradicate any problem completely from the world is nearly impossible, but we should consider how much foreign aid is helpful.
Finally, after studying the different ideas of many people regarding foreign aid I personally support foreign aid for poor and developing countries because most of the developed countries once also get aid from other countries to satiable their broken economies. For example, after World War II Europe, Germany and other western countries were able to manage their economic crisis mostly because of foreign aid. Further, we can see tangible evidence where aid is helpful to eradicate poverty and killer diseases from poor countries. Consequently, foreign aid should be given to poor and developing countries to abolish poverty and to achieve the global development.

Works Cited
Aid Saves Lives.” Save The Children, Web. 4 Oct. 2013.
Easterly, William. “Why Doesn’t Aid Work?” CATO Unbound. Apr. 2006. Web. 11 Sept. 2013.

Erixon, Fredrik. “Why Aid Doesn’t Work.” BBC NEWS. 11 Sept. 2005. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.

“Foreign Aid – The Origins of Foreign Aid.” New America Nation. Advameg, Inc., 2013. Web.
15 Nov. 2013.
Gates, Bill. “The Truth About Foreign Aid.” The New York Times. 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Sept.


Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson. “Foreign Aid Is Not a Waste of Money.” 7 Apr. 2011. Web. 14 Sept.


Wenande, Christian. “Foreign Aid: It Makes Us Feel Better, but Does It Work?” The

Conpenhagen Post. 9 Mar. 2013. Web. 13 Sept. 2013.

“Why Should Europe Help Developing Countries?” Interview by Gunilla Carlsson. Debating
Europe 7 Jan. 2013.Web. 20 Sept. 2013.


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